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47 | Finding Your Way through Grief | Kathryn Johnson

Join us for a hope-filled conversation with Kathryn Johnson, grieving mom and founder of Hannah's Hope. After experiencing multiple losses, Kathryn chose to believe that one day, she would have a reason to celebrate. She trusted that God would grow her family in His timing. Kathryn shares how she found her way through grief and started a ministry to comfort others in the same way the Lord comforted her.

In this episode, we discussed:

  • How Hannah's Hope started

  • Having faith for the future, even after multiple losses

  • The power of worship in grief

  • Infertility and waiting seasons

  • Taking our thoughts captive

  • Loss not becoming a part of our identity

  • Parenting after loss

  • Sanctification and becoming more like Christ

Full transcript below.



Kathryn Johnson is the founder of Hannah’s Hope, a ministry that sends Hope Boxes to grieving families. 


Kathryn has a master’s degree in Theological Studies from Midwestern Baptist Theological Seminary. She is a part time photographer, and a homeschool mom to her four children.

She is also the mama to four miscarried babies in heaven. Kathryn is married to Mark and they live in Tulsa, OK.

Connect with Kathryn:

Instagram: @hannahs.hope

Facebook: /



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Ashley Opliger is the Executive Director of Bridget's Cradles, a nonprofit organization based in Wichita, Kansas that donates cradles to over 1,400 hospitals in all 50 states and comforts over 30,000 bereaved families a year.

Ashley is married to Matt and they have three children: Bridget (in Heaven), and two sons. She is a follower of Christ who desires to share the hope of Heaven with families grieving the loss of a baby.

Connect with Ashley:

Facebook /ashleyopliger

Instagram @ashleyopliger

Pinterest /ashleyopliger

Follow Bridget’s Cradles:

Facebook /bridgetscradles

Instagram @bridgetscradles

Pinterest /bridgetscradles

Follow Cradled in Hope Podcast:

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Episode 47 | Finding Your Way Through Grief | Kathryn Johnson

Ashley Opliger: [00:00:00] You’re listening to the Cradled in Hope Podcast. I’m your host, Ashley Opliger. I’m a wife, mom, and follower of Christ who founded Bridget’s Cradles, a nonprofit ministry in memory of my daughter, Bridget, who was stillborn at 24 weeks. 

Cradled in Hope is a Gospel-focused podcast for grieving moms to find comfort, hope, and healing after the loss of a baby. We want this to be a safe place for your broken heart to land. 

Here, we are going to trust God’s promise to heal our hearts, restore our joy, and use our grief for good. With faith in Jesus and eyes fixed on Heaven, we do not have to grieve without hope. We believe that Jesus cradles us in hope while He cradles our babies in Heaven. 

Welcome to the Cradled in Hope Podcast.

Ashley Opliger: [00:00:51] Welcome back to Cradled in Hope. I am so excited to introduce my friend Kathryn Johnson to you. She is the founder of Hannah's Hope, a ministry that sends Hope Boxes to grieving families.


In fact, Hannah's Hope is one of the very first ministries that I found after Bridget went to Heaven. So I'm excited for you to hear her story and learn more about what Hannah's Hope does. 

Let me tell you a little more about Kathryn before we get started. She has a Master's Degree in Theological Studies from Midwestern Baptist Theological Seminary, and she is a part-time photographer and homeschool mom to her four children. She is also the momma to four miscarried babies in Heaven. 

Kathryn is married to Mark, and they live in Tulsa, Oklahoma. Let's hear her story now. 

Ashley Opliger: [00:01:35] Welcome, Kathryn, to the Cradled in Hope Podcast. I'm so glad to have you here.

Kathryn Johnson: [00:01:39] Thank you. I'm so excited to be here.

Ashley Opliger: [00:01:41] Well, we are both all cozy in our house right now. We live just a state away. You're in Oklahoma and I'm in Kansas, and we're both experiencing very cold weather, so it's nice to just be bundled up and to get to have this conversation with you.

Kathryn Johnson: [00:01:55] Yes, I’m very thankful for heat.

Ashley Opliger: [00:01:58] Well, would you introduce yourself to all of our listeners and just share your story with us?

Kathryn Johnson: [00:02:03] Sure. Yeah, I'd love to. 

Like Ashley said, my name is Kathryn Johnson, and I am married to my husband, Mark. We have been married for almost 15 years, and I am 38 years old. We live in Tulsa, Oklahoma and we have four living children, and then we have four babies in Heaven through miscarriage. 

I'll just back up and start when we first decided we wanted to try to build a family, which was in 2012. We actually got pregnant pretty quickly, and that was my first time to be pregnant, first time to know anything about pregnancy stuff, and so we were just blissfully ignorant, and everything was fine.

I ended up going in for an early ultrasound at seven weeks and five days and got to see our baby's heartbeat, and we had told family and friends. And then I went back in for my just 10-week regular OB appointment, and at that appointment, they could not find a heartbeat. And so they sent us over to the hospital to use fancier equipment just to confirm.

And then that was confirmed again there that our baby had died a couple of weeks earlier. So it was a missed miscarriage. Our baby measured about eight weeks and two days, and I should have been 10 weeks and two days. And so I was scheduled for a D&C that I had four days after that.

And then we decided to try again pretty quickly, but also while that was going on, I realized how little support there was for people who had had miscarriages, and so I was, devastated and just heartbroken and felt very much like I had a spotlight on me, because people knew. And so I felt like people were looking at us and feeling sorry for us, and it was just very difficult. 

And so as I was looking, I realized that there was not a lot out there as far as resources for people who have had pregnancy losses. And as I was grieving and as I was researching, I really felt the Holy Spirit lead me to start a ministry in a place where there really wasn't much at the time. 

And so I just sat down with pencil and paper and started drawing out what I thought would maybe be helpful for other grieving moms. And I came up with the idea of a Hope Box, which is not anything no one's ever thought of before, but it's just a box of items to help other families who are grieving, and the items that I thought of were things that had been important to me in our loss. 

So for instance, we had a family that dedicated a Bible in memory of our baby, and I just thought that was really, really special. And so we dedicate a New Testament in memory of each baby in our Hope Boxes. 

And then I had gotten some Christmas ornaments and they were really neat to hang on our tree in memory of our baby in Heaven, and so we put a Christmas ornament in the box. So there were several things that had really spoken to me that I wanted to put in a box as one gift. 

And then the other thing was that so many people don't really know what to do when they have a loss. And so my family and friends, it's like they wanted to help, but they didn't really know what to do, and so this was something that allowed families to buy one thing that was very specific to a loss and feel confident in what they were giving. So we started Hannah's Hope

And then during all of that time, we were still trying to grow our family. So we had our first loss that April, and then I got pregnant again a few months later in, I believe, October, and then in early November, we miscarried that baby. We did not get an ultrasound with that baby. That miscarriage was five weeks and five days. 

And then at that point, I feel like for me, one loss felt like, “Okay, we had our one loss.” And so then whenever we had a subsequent loss, to me that just felt like, I don't know, I was in a much darker place after that than I was after the first one.

Not that either one was better or worse than the other, but I think it was just the subsequent loss, those together. And we had had a difficult time with some relationships around then, and so I think I felt everything felt very dark and very heavy. 

And so then we ended up a few months later getting pregnant again and miscarrying very early again for a third time. And so when that happened, that was when we just put a stop on all things trying to get pregnant. And we were referred to a specialist and did all manner of testing.

And somewhere along all of that, my mom took me to a Beth Moore conference, and she was talking about the Israelites and how when they fled, how Miriam had packed a tambourine, and she was talking about how when she was packing up her house really quickly to flee from Egypt, how interesting it was that a tambourine is something that she grabbed and how the tambourine was used for celebration.

And in the story, she was saying that Miriam packed that tambourine out of faith because she knew that she was going to have something to celebrate. So what she said was, “When faith takes a journey, it packs a tambourine.” That was like a watershed moment for me in the midst of this, in knowing that, in allowing myself to be able to expect to celebrate.

And every story ends differently, and celebration may mean different things to different people and different families. But my mom bought me a little rinky-dink purple tambourine, and I put that thing in my car, and I took it with me. And I just anticipated that one day I was going to get to use that tambourine.

My mom bought me that tambourine, I believe, after our second loss. And so during that time, we also had some people in our church, our Sunday school class, they wrote on a card. I got a package at work, and I opened it and it was a card with signatures of just tons of people in our class, and flowers and cookies.

And I remember opening it and then I immediately had to close it because I was so emotional, because I just felt so much support. And I felt like in a time that was very dark and very lonely, I felt like I was seen and that the Lord was using those people to remind me that I was not forgotten.

All of that happened after that second loss when I was in that dark time. And so then when we had our third loss, you would think, “Oh, well, that would be even worse.” 

But I think at that point, I had just kind of resigned myself that God was going to grow our family. I didn't know what that meant, what that would look like, when that would happen, but I was trying to walk in faith and expect to have something to celebrate.

So, at that point, I think by then, I'm trying to think of the year. I think it was 2014. So we stopped trying, we did all the testing with the specialists, and really they couldn't find anything wrong other than MTHFR, which is a very mild clotting disorder that now they're not even really sure is related to pregnancy loss in the way that they thought it was 10 years ago. 

So they said, “Take a baby aspirin, keep trying.” So then we continued to try to conceive. And after six months, we were still not pregnant. And so we did some IUIs. We did four cycles of IUI, three that were unsuccessful and one that was canceled. 

And so then it was we'd gotten pregnant three times in 11 months, and then all of a sudden, we were not getting pregnant and not even being pregnant with fertility treatment.

And so, in the summer of 2015, we went to see a different doctor out of state and did some further testing. And in that, they did a saline HSG, which checks to see if your tubes are clean. And sometimes what can happen when they do that is it flushes out your tubes, and so three weeks after that, I got another pregnancy test.

And so for me, after having three consecutive losses, a pregnancy test honestly didn't really mean very much to me. And I was very like, “We'll see. I don't know.” But as I got the test, got my labs, got the ultrasounds, everything continued to look good. 

We had chromosomal testing done at 10 weeks, found out it was a baby girl, and in March of 2016, that baby was born. And her name is Nora, and she will be 8 years this March. 

So, in my pregnancy with Nora, I really kind of detached and had a hard time. It was easier for me to pretend like it wasn't happening than for me to be attached and know what it was like to have that loss and think about having to do that again.

And I remember when we were in the delivery room, they brought in the incubator and the bottle of warm water and all that stuff. And I remember at that moment thinking, “They are expecting that I'm going to deliver a live baby,” and that being a big moment for me, that, “They think everything's going to go fine,” and allowing myself to have that moment of acceptance that, “This is actually likely going to happen.” 

And so we had Nora in 2016. And her name means light, which we felt like was a very special meaning after a season of darkness. And her middle name is Grace, which is unmerited kindness. And we felt like her life was just a kindness from the Lord. 

And then, after Nora was born, we had no idea what would lie ahead for us when trying to conceive again. So we started trying pretty quickly and then got pregnant and had an uneventful and healthy pregnancy with a baby boy, my son Pax, who was born in 2018. 

And then, after Pax was born, we still wanted to have more children and got pregnant again. And in the fall of 2019, I had a similar pregnancy to my first, where I had had multiple ultrasounds that were fine, seen the heartbeat several times, and then I couldn't get the heartbeat on my home Doppler.

I had suspected that the pregnancy was maybe not viable because I had had one of my hCG numbers was really off, even though all the others were fine. And so when I couldn't find the heartbeat on the Doppler, I went into an ultrasound place on the weekend and asked if they would check. And sure enough, there was no heartbeat.

That baby we miscarried at home naturally around 10 weeks before I could make it to my D&C. And that was my most physically traumatizing miscarriage experience, where I went to the ER a couple of times and felt like I couldn't really get help. And it was really scary. 

And we did testing on that baby afterward and found that it was a girl and that she had a trisomy that came from my husband, and so it was just chalked up to something more random. 

After that, we still wanted to have children, but we also just, every year as we're getting older and knowing that our chances for loss are getting higher, but we did get pregnant again and then had our daughter Annie Rose in 2021. 

And then somehow, miraculously, we got pregnant again shortly after Annie Rose, and we just had our fourth and final baby, Rowan, born August 29th. And in Rowan's delivery, they go over your health history when you deliver and they say, “What pregnancy is this?” And so they talk about, “You've had four losses.” 

And then my husband, when they said that, he just burst into tears, and he said, “And today we even the score,” because we were going to have our fourth living baby after having four losses. And so that was a really special full-circle moment for us to get to see that and just God's faithfulness. 

And anyway, so, we have a wonderfully full house where our tambourines and all kinds of musical instruments are played all the time, and we're very, very, very grateful and also feel like that we are better parents for what we experienced and what we learned through those losses. Not that we would choose them or anything like that, but we feel like there has been some beauty that has come out of those ashes.

Hopefully, that was somewhat linear enough to not be confusing, but that's our story in a somewhat large nutshell.

Ashley Opliger: [00:14:57] Well, first of all, Kathryn, I'm so sorry for everything that you've walked through. And I just know that so many moms will resonate with the feeling of the back-to-back heartbreak and going through this more than once.

That's something that I personally don't understand. I've only experienced loss one time, and I know how painful and how much suffering that I walked through in that one circumstance that has stayed with me the rest of my life. But I do feel so much for our mommas who have known this kind of pain more than once and have had to walk this road.

Like you said, it's not like each one totaled together equals more than anyone else's grief. It's not as if we're trying to compare grief, but it is discouraging when you go grief upon grief upon grief upon grief, and your heart just becomes so weary and broken down. 

And I can understand how it would impact your perspective of the future and how you're navigating all of this when you've walked through that multiple times. 

I know that that conference and the picture of the tambourine just really gave you a lot of hope in that moment of knowing, “I'm walking through this now, but one day the Lord's going to give me a reason to rejoice.” 

And we talk about a lot on our podcast that might be growing your family, and whether that's having a living child of your own or adopting a child, or maybe it's an entirely different story that God's writing in a way that He's going to bring beauty from ashes. 

And ultimately, all of us, our ultimate hope is Heaven, and our ultimate hope is in Jesus, and we talk about that a lot. But certainly, He can use giving us living children as another way to celebrate and to bring joy and healing in our life.

And so would you walk through that season of darkness and coming to the light, what the Lord did in your heart as you were navigating back-to-back losses and just, I'm sure, many feelings of feeling like, “Have You forsaken me, God?” Like, “Where are You? Why is this a part of my life story? I didn't expect this.” Can you walk us through those feelings?

Kathryn Johnson: [00:16:59] I was on staff at my church at the time and I worked in the worship ministry, and so part of my job was I helped lead worship every Sunday. And so when I was in the middle of those losses, I found it very difficult to pray because I kind of felt like, “Well, I've prayed before. I prayed this same prayer, and it hasn't worked. So what is the point?”

I'm kind of a researcher, and so I was like, “Well, there's got to be something behind this.” Like, “I just need to research about prayers.” And so I'm trying to read these books on prayer, and what I ultimately realized was that prayer was not the issue. Prayer was the symptom. 

The challenge was that my faith had taken a beating, and I was having a hard time believing that my prayers were making a difference.

And I remember standing on stage and singing words that I had sung for years, and singing them and really feeling like I wasn't really sure how much I believed them.

It was like deep down, I knew they were true, but it's like they didn't really feel very true. And so I remember even tearing up on stage because I was just so broken and I was so sad, and just really singing those words to myself and over myself those things that I knew to be true that didn't feel true, just having to remind myself.

And maybe, I don't know how much I would have if I wasn't forced to, because I had to show up every day and I had to sing. And so I think that was an anchor through that time of me going back to those words of Truth, I'm not going to pretend like that just went away and that prayer just suddenly became super easy, because sometimes it can still be a challenge.

And even with our most recent pregnancy, I struggled. I try to think with that Heaven perspective of, “These challenges that we have, I don't see the full story, and I don't know how God is going to redeem this, and He may not redeem some of these things in my lifetime.” And that's really unfortunate, but I trust that He is going to redeem all things.

That's easier said than done, having that Heavenly perspective, but I really do try to put my life in the perspective of God's eternity, and that really does help give me encouragement. 

And then I also, at the time, practically, I felt like we were going to have children at some point and that I needed to be open to what that would look like and how God would do that, even if that was not how I wanted. 

And I would make myself look months ahead as opposed to every single day, because it's so easy when you're trying to have a baby, too. Every day is just a rollercoaster. It's the two-week wait. It's, “Oh, I'm not pregnant.” And so it's like you're just riding these emotions all the time. 

And so I would try to say, “Okay, we're going to try this for six months. And then if this doesn't work at six months, we're going to do X, Y, Z.” And that helped me to take it out of the day-to-day stress of my timeline and me wanting to be pregnant this month and helped me hold it a little bit more loosely and just see where the Lord led in that.

We started in the fall of 2012 and then our daughter was born in the spring of 2016, so that's not a short amount of time. I know a lot of people try much longer than that, but there was a lot of waiting. And so I really tried to not just lose that whole season of my life to just waiting, and still tried to be obedient, still tried to grow in the midst of it. But it was certainly not easy and some days I did it better than others.

Ashley Opliger: [00:20:22]  Yeah, it is such a hard place to be in the waiting. And so often, once we come to the other side of the waiting season, we look back and we see the beauty and the things that we learned and the things that the Lord showed us in that time, and how close we were to Him in that season. 

And so many times in my own life I've had that, where I've looked back and been like, “You know what? At the time, that was a really hard season, but it was also a very sweet season. And there was a lot of fruit that came out of that season.” 

And you just sometimes wish that we could enjoy those seasons more, even though they're painful. And it comes back to the Heavenly perspective of knowing that He is sanctifying us through these hard seasons.

And oftentimes, it's those difficult seasons that we walk through that we are sanctified the most because we are relying on Him for every breath and for every moment to get us through the pain and the suffering that we're experiencing and the longing that we have, and we're praying to Him. And I think there is such an intimacy with the Lord through those seasons.

And so if you're listening right now and you're in one of those seasons, as hard as it is to embrace it, because we're human, we want to get to the other side of it. We want to be in that next season that we're longing for. I would really encourage you, maybe it's journaling or, as Kathryn said, just praising Him in the midst of the storm, turning that worship music on, and listening to those words.

And something you said, Kathryn, as well, is just that discrepancy between our heart and our head. We often know the Truth. We know His Word. We know that He's a good God, but He doesn't feel like a good God when we're going through difficult seasons. 

And so oftentimes we will let our circumstances skew our view of who He is and of His character. And so I think it's important to be reminding ourselves of that Truth and staying in His Word so that we do have a right perspective of who He is, because He's never-changing. He's always good despite our circumstances. 

Ashley Opliger: [00:22:24] We hope you are enjoying this episode so far. We want to take a quick break to tell you about some resources our ministry provides to grieving moms. 

On our website,, you can find hope-filled resources on grieving and healing including memorial ideas, quotes & Scripture, featured stories, and recommended books and other organizations. We share ideas on how to navigate difficult days such as due dates, Heaven Days, and holidays. 

In addition, every month I lead Christ-centered support groups for bereaved moms called Hope Gatherings, both in-person and online. You can find a list of upcoming dates and sign up for our next support group on our website. 

Lastly, we would love for you to connect with us on Facebook and Instagram. You can find us on these three pages: @bridgetscradles, @cradledinhope, and my personal page @ashleyopliger. You can also join our private Cradled in Hope Facebook group for grieving moms to find community. We would be honored to hear your baby’s story and be praying for you by name. Now let’s get back to our episode.

Ashley Opliger: [00:23:33] Would you maybe share more on that discrepancy between our heart and our head, like when we know the Truth in our head, but we can't feel it?

Maybe we don't feel His presence. We don't feel His goodness. We don't feel His peace because we're just struggling so much. Do you have any advice for our listeners on how to remind ourselves, but also allow us to feel the Truth, if that makes sense?

Kathryn Johnson: [00:23:56] I think it's very specific to the person and what speaks to you.  And music has always spoken to me. So again, referencing that, playing worship music, things that will get my mind on bigger truths, things outside of me, finding a Scripture.

I love the Scripture that talks about taking every thought captive and making it obedient to the Lord. And so if your thoughts are a problem, that's a good reminder on that. 

And then also there's an acrostic. It's, THINK “Is this true? Is this helpful? Is it important? Is this necessary? And is this kind?” And if your thoughts don't meet that criteria, then it's not allowed to be thought about.

And that's [not] to say you can't ever have thoughts like that, that I think it's very easy for us to fall into a pattern of instead of having a thought, just dwelling with these thoughts of sadness and grief and longing. 

I started seeing a therapist who specialized in pregnancy loss, and that was one of the things that we talked about was how I needed to be careful that my pregnancy loss didn't become, my loss story was not my identity.

Yes, it is a very important part of who I am, but she described it as a bookshelf, that this is a book on my bookshelf, that I can take that book down. I can read the story. I can spend time with it and it's there and then I can put it back on the shelf. but that doesn't define me. It is not who I am.

And so that helped me think about getting outside of myself a little bit and giving me permission to not just sit and dwell on those things. 

And that's not to say that there are not going to be certainly times in grief where you just sit and grieve. And that is the right thing to do in those moments, and it's going to be different for everybody. But there a difference in that than it becoming who you are. And so that was really helpful. 

And then there's another book called Learning to Tell Myself the Truth. That was a helpful book for me. 

And I think that friendships can't be understated and sharing with women, even if they don't understand, but being honest about what you're going through.

And I remember sitting at Starbucks with a dear friend of mine and just crying and weeping and being embarrassed because I'm like, “Here I am, a grown woman in a public place and I'm crying,” but my heart was broken. And she just sat and she listened. And now it makes me teary even thinking about it, 10 years ago, that I had a friendship that was that deep. 

And so I think those things that happen, like a friend listening, I had a friend that dropped off stuff for Ice Cream. Sunday is the day that we found out our first baby didn't have a heartbeat, just put ice cream on our porch. You know?

And so it's like the Lord is able to show us kindness in these circumstances, I think, in some ways that we miss when we're not walking through them. Like you were saying, even in that moment, you may be like, “Well, who cares about the ice cream? I want my baby,” obviously. However, 10 years later, I remember that that friend put ice cream on my porch, and she didn't have to do that, and what that meant in that moment.

And so I think just having our eyes open, we can see God's kindness even if it's after the fact, but it is there. So yeah, I don't know if that answers your question.

Ashley Opliger: [00:27:13] I love that you shared about our identity because I often will see women, and it's not something that I think women do intentionally, but when our loss becomes part of our identity, we can fall into the trap of it being this victim mentality where our whole life is viewed through the lens of, “This happened to me, woe is me, pity me.”

And it's not that we shouldn't grieve, and we shouldn't have pity. People obviously do feel sad for us because what we experienced is sad. But when we feel as though that is now our identity and the way we're going to view the rest of our lives, that becomes problematic in the sense that never was intended to be our identity.

And not even in our motherhood, even with living children, are we supposed to put all of our identity in our role as a mom. 

I believe that being a mom, both to living children and to babies in Heaven, it's a privilege and it's a gift and it's an amazing role that God gives us, but it's not who we are. It's part of who we are, but our identity is in Christ, and He is our victory.

And so it's just coming out of that victim mentality to this victory that we have in Christ that we will get to see our babies again.

And ultimately our salvation is dependent on what Jesus did on the Cross and our identity as daughters of God. And so I love that you share that because that is important. And I think sometimes we focus a lot on what happened versus who we're becoming. 

And oftentimes, I'll think about in those waiting seasons and the difficult seasons that we walk through is we can look at it as like, “Why me? Why did this happen to me? Why are You allowing this to happen, God? Are You punishing me?” 

Or can we ask a different set of questions? “Why did you choose me to go through this? Is there something that You want me to learn? Is there something that I'm going to grow in, Lord, in my character? Or is there something I'm going to be able to do to help someone else? And who are You making me become through this?”

And ultimately, we want to become like Christ and these seasons really do sanctify and prune us. So would you share some practical examples of just what that pruning and sanctification looked like through your journey?

Kathryn Johnson: [00:29:38] Yes. Before our losses, I would not have considered myself to be a very compassionate person. I don't know why; it was just maybe not really in my nature. 

But going through all of this pain and hardship, it really gave me a new perspective and it softened my heart toward other people who had experienced loss and grief. And it really changed the way that I looked at people, and maybe it was just because I hadn't experienced grief in that way before. But I feel like that was something that really changed in my heart. 

And then I also think when we had children after our losses, my perspective was so different. My perspective was one where things that I think before I would have taken for granted, I did not in a way that I wouldn't have.

And so when things are really stressful, that's not to belittle the difficulties of being a parent to infants, but it really helped me put things into perspective of, “You know what? I am so grateful that there's a mess right now in my house.” And I wouldn't have been as compassionate of a parent had I not experienced those losses.

Ashley Opliger: [00:30:47] Yeah, and I think that also helps us give people grace when other people may not have the right words to say or know how to handle caring for us in our grief. And knowing that at one point, that was us before we had experienced this loss, we didn't necessarily know how to best comfort someone, and we didn't have the same compassion and empathy that we do now.

And it gives us more reason to be gracious with people and understanding that people are really not trying to be hurtful, but they are trying to be helpful. And sometimes, their intentions are good, but the execution of how they go about it or the words that they choose can sometimes be hard to hear. 

I just want to go back now to this compassion that God has given you in creating this beautiful ministry called Hannah's Hope. And this is named after Hannah from 1 Samuel and you have this beautiful website. You have these Hope Boxes that people can order for themselves or send to a friend or family member. Will you share more about these boxes and how people can find them online?

Kathryn Johnson: [00:31:55] Yes. We are at And on our website, you can hear more about our story, and then you can also find a place where you can order our Hope Boxes.

They are, I believe with shipping they're around $28. You'll have to check, but it's close to the $30 mark. And in each box, there are several items that are specifically chosen to help mothers who are grieving miscarriage or stillbirth or early infant death. 

So we have a little stuffed lamb that says Jesus Loves Me, which is basically for moms who are empty-handed and they want something to hold. So that's just something soft that they can hold. 

We have a Christmas ornament, which is personalized with your baby's name on it, as is the New Testament donation. And then we have a book called Grieving the Child I Never Knew, which is a devotional that helps women process in a proactive way a lot of the things like you're talking about.

Like if someone comes up to you and says something that is really hurtful but also really unintentional, this devotional, it just walks through lots of things so you can kind of anticipate those things when they happen, so you're maybe not quite as flat-footed, and just really speaks very specifically to grace of this kind.

And then there's a little song list with some worship songs to help women through their grief and feel a little more hopeful. So it's all packaged very well with the baby's name and the family's name on the top of the box and to and from.

They're made every week out of our office and they're shipped once a week and so they're all very personalized. And we get just really sweet, wonderful feedback from moms about how the different items in the boxes meant different things to different moms. 

And it's always interesting to see which item resonates with which person. And honestly, we don't do a ton of advertisement because we're a small operation, but our grassroots reach, we just continue to have orders, and we shipped, I think, somewhere around 120 or so boxes this last year. And that's just from people that keep coming back, or they received one, and they want to give one to someone else. 

And to me, that's the biggest gift, when a mom who received a box comes back to order one for a friend. 

Ashley Opliger: [00:34:08] They are so beautiful and so thoughtfully curated with really special items. I also see there's forget-me-not seeds that they can put in.

Kathryn Johnson: [00:34:16] Oh yes. I forgot the forget-me-nots.

Ashley Opliger: [00:34:18] Yes, it's so beautiful. And I love your new website. We were chatting before we hit record, but I was telling Kathryn because they started their ministry in 2013, Hannah's Hope was actually one of the very first ministries that I heard about after we lost Bridget.

And so it's just really special to finally get to record this episode because you have been a longstanding nonprofit that has been pointing women to the hope of Jesus through the Gospel, and I just really love the Hope Boxes.

And so anyone that's listening, you can go to their website,, and you can buy, there's a Hope Box for $25 and then there's also a twin or multiples box for $35, and then shipping will be added when you check out. 

But it's just so beautiful what you've created in the midst of all the grief that you've walked through. And I know that your story and your testimony is going to continue to help so many people.

So thank you so much, Kathryn, for sharing about Hannah's Hope and sharing your story and the journey that you've walked through to get to where you're at now. Would you mind closing us in prayer?

Kathryn Johnson: [00:35:25] Sure.

Dear God, thank You so much for every woman and man who is listening today. And God, I know that You know their needs, You know their hopes, You know their hearts. And I ask that You would meet those individual and specific needs of each woman, that You would remind them that You are our hope and that our hope is in nothing less than in You.

I ask that You would continue the healing work in their hearts that You have done and that You would show them that there is celebration on this journey, whether it's today or tomorrow or years from now, that we have our celebration in You regardless of our circumstances. 

We love You, Jesus, and we thank You for the way that You knit families together and the way that we have family in each other and in You and Your Son, Jesus. Amen.

Ashley Opliger: [00:36:13] Amen. Thank you so much, Kathryn. 

Ashley Opliger: [00:36:17] Thank you for listening to the Cradled in Hope Podcast. We pray that you found hope & healing in today’s episode. 

Don’t forget to subscribe so you don’t miss new episodes when they release on the 1st of every month. You can also find this episode’s show notes and a full transcript on our website at

Be sure to leave your email address so that we can keep you updated on podcast episodes, upcoming support groups, and other hope-filled resources.

If you’re interested in volunteering or donating to Bridget’s Cradles in memory of a baby in Heaven, you can find information on our website on how you can get involved and spread hope to other grieving families.

One way you can help is by leaving a review of this podcast on iTunes [or the Apple Podcasts app]. Consider the minute of your time as a way YOU can personally share the hope that you’ve found here with another mom whose heart is broken and needs healing. 

Thank you so much for listening and sharing. Until next time, we will be praying for you. And remember, as Jesus cradles our babies in Heaven, He cradles us in hope. Though we may grieve, we do not grieve without hope. 


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